fraud misrepresentation

Waivers for Fraud and Willful Misrepresentation

We teach our children that lying to get what you want is wrong, yet adults do it all the time.

Not only will lying on an immigration application get you denied but you may be found inadmissible. The good news is that there are waivers for fraud or willful misrepresentation if you can prove that your U.S. relative will experience extreme hardship if you were denied the visa.

The problem with fraud or misrepresentation is that it stays on your immigration record of life.

So, even after the waiver is approved, your Alien Registration Number will still have this information. This fact alone should make you think twice about committing fraud of willful misrepresentation.

Using fraud or misrepresentation to get a US visa or green card will definitely result in having to explain why you did it at every interview.

Case Example:

Cassandra is engaged to a U.S. citizen and applied for a tourist visa at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine. She did not mention that she was engaged to a U.S. citizen and that he was the reason she wanted to visit the United States. 

During the interview, the officer asked her about her ongoing relationship with her fiance. This came as a surprise to Cassandra because she never mentioned it but somehow they found out. She told the immigration official that they have been dating for a year long distance and recently got engaged. 

The immigration officer suspected that her intent was to get married in the U.S. and adjust her status. She was denied the tourist visa for misrepresentation.

In the case above, Cassandra should have let the consulate officer know that she wanted to visit her fiance in U.S.. Of course, this would cause her tourist  visa to be denied because there is a high chance of her staying in America. Bottom line is that you should always be honest on all immigration applications and at the visa interview.

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You Are Inadmissible Due To Fraud

Committing immigration or marriage fraud has serious consequences. Not only will it block you from being approved for a U.S. visa but it can result in a permanent bar from entering the United States completely.

So, why would someone lie to an immigration official and risk being caught? The simple answer is fear.

They are scared of telling the truth thinking that it may get them denied. It’s hard for me to understand this logic, but people do it all the time. Then they wonder why they were denied the visa and run off to an immigration attorney. It’s ridiculous!

In some countries, fraud is so high that USCIS and the U.S. consulate put every single applicant in administrative processing until they prove their not committing fraud. It’s really unfortunate for those who are applying from high fraud countries because you are guilty until you prove otherwise.

You are inadmissible due to fraud if…

  • You applied or received some type of immigration benefit;
  • You made a “false representation” or lied on your application or at your interview;
  • The false information or lie was done on purpose (willfully made);
  • The false information or lie influenced the outcome of the case (material fact);
  • The false information or lie was made to a U.S. government official (USCIS, CBP,Consular officer);
  • The false information or lie was used to hide facts from a U.S. government official; and
  • The U.S. government official used this false information to approve your case.

Case Example:

Joseph applied for a CR1 spouse visa based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen. On form I-130A he stated that he had no children but immigration officials quickly found out that he had a 6 year old son with his ex-girlfriend. During the interview, Joseph was asked about his son which he couldn’t answer correctly.

He was nervous and said that he wasn’t aware he had child. This caused suspicion of his marriage and was ultimately denied due to fraud.

I’m sure there are some men out there who are not aware of biological children they may have, but don’t use that as an excuse. If you truly had no idea you had children, explain this. Give as much detail about your past relationship as possible and when it ended.

You may be able to dodge this question just by being honest at the interview. But, if you knew and blatantly lied, good luck because you’ll likely be denied the visa due to fraud. Never lie about whether you have children or not. Having children will not be a cause for denial but lying about it will.

green card fraud

You Are Inadmissible Due To Willful Misrepresentation

Willful misrepresentation is a little different then outright fraud. Willful misrepresentation is when you lie or keep something from immigration officials that could have been used to make a decision on your case.

I’ve seen a number of immigrants get caught in a scheme to bring other family members and claim them as their own children. This would never work because USCIS requires blood testing to make sure you are in fact related.

Case Example:

Malia is being petitioned by her U.S. citizen spouse for a CR1 visa from South Africa. She has been caring for her daughters child since birth and the toddler knows her as mom. She decides to claim the child as her own even though she is the child’s grandmother.

The U.S. consulate suspects that the child is not hers and requests that she take a DNA test to confirm their relation. Malia begins to panic as she has already lied and will now be caught due to the DNA test.

I’ve received an email from a reader in this situation. It was hard to tell her that she must come clean and tell the truth. The consulate officer will find out the truth after the DNA test so it’s not really a choice.

You are inadmissible due to willful misrepresentation if…

  • You applied or received some type of immigration benefit;
  • You made a “false representation” or lied on your application or at your interview;
  • The false information or lie was done on purpose (willfully made);
  • The false information or lie influenced the outcome of the case (material fact); and
  • The false information or lie was made to a U.S. government official (USCIS, CBP,Consular officer).

Case Example:

Tamara lives in Brazil and applied for a K1 fiancee visa to the United States. On form DS-160, she stated that she didn’t have any family members that currently live in the U.S.. A background check showed that she had a sister that was a permanent resident in Texas.

Because Tamara lied on the DS-160 application about her sister living in the U.S., she was immediately denied the tourist visa due to misrepresentation.

I-601 Waiver Available For Fraud and Misrepresentation

So, why would USCIS provide a waiver to those who lied or misrepresented this case?

Provides humanitarian relief and promote family unit. It’s nice to think that USCIS has a heart. They don’t want to punish you forever for making one mistake in your application by lying to them. You can get a second chance but you will need to show that your U.S. relative will suffer “extreme hardship”. The definition of extreme hardship is up the adjudicator but it a lot more than the usual hardship someone would face if they were separated from a loved one.

Positive factors outweigh the fraud or willful misrepresentation. When I was a kid I was told that there is a good and bad angels that will keep track of everything you do and at the end of your life, you’d better hope that your good deeds outweigh the bad. This is similar to how USCIS will determine whether your waiver will be approved. In the end, it’s up to them to look at all the positive factors of your case and compare it to the negatives to make a decision.

Allows you to overcome the inadmissibility or removability ground. Ultimately, the waiver is designed to help you overcome the inadmissibility due to fraud or misrepresentation. It asks USCIS to forgive the dishonesty because of the factors above. You are asking them to consider the evidence you provided before making their decision. If a waiver is denied, you won’t be able to appeal but instead must reapply which can get really expensive.

Who can apply for a waiver for fraud and willful misrepresentation?

  • Immigrant visa or adjustment of status applicants based on a family relationship.
  • VAWA self-petitioners that were abused by U.S. citizen spouse, child or parent.
  • Immigrant visa or adjustment of status applicants based on employment relationship.
  • Nonimmigrant K visa for the fiance of a U.S. citizen.
  • Nonimmigrant V visa for spouse or child of a LPR.

There are a number of waivers available depending on the circumstances of your case. It’s best to speak with an immigration attorney about your case to find out which waiver to apply for. I know a good number of people that submitted their own application successfully, but they spend a lot of time researching and learning about the process.

If you have the time to dedicate to learning what you need to submit with your waiver, you can save some money and do it yourself. If not, I highly recommend talking to a lawyer that will help you through the process. Filing a waiver is complicated and expensive so you want to make sure you do it right he first time.

Complete list of all USCIS waivers available.

Final Thoughts on Fraud and Misrepresentation and I-601 Waiver

My motto in life is always tell the truth. Lying or misrepresenting yourself may get you ahead for a short period of time but in the end, it will come back to bite you. Immigration is not something to take lightly, it can truly change your life for better or for worse.

Every single reader that has emailed me asking for help after they have committed fraud or lied at the interview regretted it. Sure, there may be those who have lied to get a visa and haven’t be caught yet, but this is rare.

Even if you haven’t gotten caught yet, your immigration benefits will be revoked if immigration officials find out down the road. I’ve read of a story where a woman’s U.S. citizenship was revoked after it was found that they committed fraud to get it.

If you’ve already lied or defrauded the U.S. government, get a lawyer immediately. It’s no guarantee that your case will be successful but at least they can help your prepare the waiver.

You must submit a very strong waiver case if you are found to be inadmissible due to fraud or willful misrepresentation. I’ve explained it briefly in this post, but there is more to proving extreme hardship which is very important.

Have you lied at an immigration interview? Were you ultimately caught and denied? Let me know in the comments below or contact me directly.

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